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Public Statements

Iran Political Oppression

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. CANTOR. Madam Speaker, I rise today in sympathy with the victims of Iranian political oppression who have been injured or killed protesting the outcome of their election.

Yet regardless of whether Ahmadinejad or Mousavi wins, we must not maintain any illusions about where true power in Iran rests.

That would be in the hands of the Islamic Republic's clerical regime, extremists determined to advance Iran's nuclear program and use terrorism to bully other states in the region.

Much of the regime's most egregious activities are done in the dark, hidden from the world's eyes and thus escaping media attention. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps quietly funnels weapons and funding into terrorists groups from Iraq to Afghanistan to Lebanon to Gaza. Iranian centrifuges enrich uranium at nuclear plants often hidden from weapons inspectors. And terrorist groups make voyages to Iran to receive training at unspecified locations.

But this week the true colors of the Iranian regime are on broad display. With the whole world watching, the Iranian regime has been embarrassed--called to account seemingly for the first time. This is an opportunity we cannot squander. Let us rally the world around the Iranian people. Let us use this opening to show the international community how dangerous the Iranian regime is--and why a nuclear Iran is flatly unacceptable.

Regrettably, the President and Democratic leadership in congress are failing to respond to the growing threat a nuclear Iran poses to the world.

Today we call on President Obama to immediately condemn the violence the Iranian regime is perpetrating against its citizens. We call on the Speaker to immediately bring to the floor and consider the Iran Petroleum Sanctions Act. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Chairman Berman and Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen, would impose sanctions on the radical Iranian regime while they continue to seek nuclear weapons and destabilize the Middle East.


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